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Eye of the Kitty

With the help of Freya, Tepic, and several others Beryl had been admitted to the hospital eventually.  The doctors were now trying everything to keep the fever under control, but the infection was tenacious.

 Countless friends had come to wish the cat a speedy recovery, but others visitors had not been so kind.  Bookworm had been forced to set a militia guard outside of Beryl’s door to allow the cat to get their rest, but they could not protect Beryl from the illness.  His friends encouraged them to keep fighting both in the waking world and when they were asleep, though they didn’t know it.  

 One night Beryl had gone to sleep in the hospital, medicated and delirious as the fever was now too strong for the opiates, but when they began to dream they found themselves in a half dug grave where Tepic, Bookworm, and the hospital staff were throwing water on Beryl and pulling them to their feet.

 Beryl was disoriented at first, but eventually just went with the flow of the dream and where it was taking them.  That happened to be the cabbits arena, which had not been completed in the waking world.  It was an imposing structure with gothic architecture that seemed to promise blood to those entering, here at least.  Beryl doubted it would look this way when it was finished, especially once they entered and discovered the interior had a boxing ring in the center.

 One section of the crowd was filled with friends cheering Beryl on even though the match hadn’t started yet.  Avariel even had a banner blanket wishing the kitty success.  Another section was filled with betters hoping to see the carnage, and the last section was filled with Beryl’s enemies that had tried to hurt or kill them in the past.

“I RSVP’d for your funeral, cat!” Dr. Dinosaur called out from the crowd, waving a ticket.  Everyone on that side of the room started waving their own excitedly. A doberman with scars across his face called out, “Have you heard, cat?  Your funeral has sold out!  We shall be the only ones attending!”

“Ain’t gonna be a funeral!” Tepic shot back, before turning to Beryl apologetically, “If’n I thought there would be I’d have got a ticket, but yer a hero so there ain’t gonna be one.”

Beryl shook their head and continued past the insanity to the ring.  Bookworm provided the gloves while reminding Beryl about everything that Mariah had taught them, and prevented Tepic from giving Beryl a ‘special’ barbed wire.

Most of the hospital staff was there as well.  Dr. Sonnerstein offered up some foul smelling concoction which he then poured onto Beryl gloves while Kasa looked for any wounds to sew up.  Despite their odd behaviors they were normal compared to the dream Dr. Jekyll.  Whichever side of Dr. Jekyll was covered in shadow seemed to be the twisted form of someone else Beryl knew.

But in the other corner of the ring was a black furred wolf that was almost the same size as Beryl.  It was not wearing boxing gloves and seemed to be more real than any of the other things around Beryl.  It’s yellow eyes were fixated on Beryl who suddenly wished that the chosen sport had been En Garde with silver rapiers…

“Right, yer know what’s at stake Beryl,” Tepic said patting their friend. “There ain’t no cure, least no cure as wouldn’t kill a bloke as soon as yer try it.”

“Yes, you told me that.  You also told me there was only one real cure in the legend that would not kill the victim instead.”

“You are not ready for that yet.” Bookworm said softly, and looked at Beryl with quiet sorrow. “I’m so sorry Beryl, but you’re going to have to fight this and keep fighting it.  No one can fight it for you or I would, I promise.”

Beryl had heard those words before and winced.  Tepic continued where Book had broken off, “We can only help yer fight this fight.  But after yer survive only yer can do what I told yer and beat the wolf back fer good after.”

A bell was rung and Beryl’s coaches backed off.  It was just Beryl and the wolf for a few moments and it charged forward.  

Beryl delivered a quick jab and darted away from the creature’s claws.  It was not trying very hard to kill him at the moment taking its time and not making much of an effort yet.  Beryl was able to repeatedly pivot and land blows on the wolf which seemed to have some effect on it.  

The bell announced the end of the round.  Beryl stepped back, amazed at how lethargic the wolf had been during the round, but the wolf didn’t heed the bell and it attacked getting a strike on Beryl’s side.  

The cat retaliated and punched the wolf as hard as they could which made it fall to the ground to recover, shaking its head and blinking.  The wolf was about to strike again and so Beryl struck first, hitting as hard as they could instead of saving themselves for a future round.  

The wolf toppled over, surprisingly to Beryl who had expected them to be a lot stronger than they had been.  But as Beryl stood over them triumphantly the body of the wolf vanished.  A bell rang and some of the crowd cheered, while others were disappointed in the development.  

There was the sound of a bell again, and a new wolf appeared in the opponent’s corner.  It stared at Beryl intently showing that the match was not over yet.  It was the same size as the first but looked completely fresh from their previous encounter.  

Beryl could feel their wound on their side bleeding freely still.  Kasa and the doctors called them over to get them ready before the next round started.  That was why the wolf hadn’t been trying in the first round.  Beryl would eventually wear themselves out trying to fight them and unlike the wolf their wounds and fatigue would remain until they dropped from exhaustion.

Why can’t I ever dream of something nice? Beryl thought as they walked to their own corner clutching their side gently.  Like a vacation to Venice.  As the doctors treated them and got them ready Beryl promised themselves they were going to Venice when this was all over.


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  1. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon September 30, 2015

    Go Kitty! Go! Yay! You can do it! Hit him with your puffy gloves! Yay!

  2. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs September 30, 2015

    ((I will catch up with events… eventually… very eventually…))

  3. Beryl Strifeclaw Beryl Strifeclaw October 2, 2015

     As the days progressed the waking world began to feel like the dream and the arena seemed to become the real fight for their lives as Beryl’s dream coaches had warned them.

     The wolf was getting bigger and stronger each night and it was getting harder to knock the wolf down.  It had taken several rounds for Beryl to figure out that the wolf mostly attacked if Beryl stopped fighting or tried to go on the defensive.  The feline was being careful to avoid leaving openings that would dare the wolf to change its tactics, because sometimes the wolf managed to get in a slash.  The cat had four deep wounds now and it was getting harder to stay on the offensive.

     “How long…do I have to keep this up?”  Beryl panted while asking the doctors.  Kasa was trying to quickly clean the wound and sew it up.  

    “Until yer beat it down and it don’t get back up,” Tepic said as he used their towel to fan Beryl.

    “Think of the beast like a flu Beryl,” Dr. Jekyl said as he used a stethoscope to check their heart.  “As doctors it’s our job to help you against it and keep you alive, but your own body has to have the strength to fight back too!”

    “So I just have to keep fighting and wear this monster out?” Beryl asked while Dr. Sonnerstein again poured a new concoction onto the boxing gloves.  “That would work if it actually got weaker as we fought!”

    “Don’t worry!  You’ll get through this kitty!”  Avariel yelled from the sidelines, where she was backed by many urchins echoing her cheer.  Mr. Wright called out from the sidelines, “You’d better make it or I’ll drag you out of hell if I have to!”  This sentiment was repeated by many others promising Beryl that they wouldn’t allow them to die.

    Tepic laughed, “See Beryl!  Can’t stay dead even if yer wanted to, though wouldn’t make no sense to search there cause when heroes like you plops yer clogs they ain’t going down!  Yer gonna be drinkin at the vole milk fountains in the skies!”

    Beryl shook their head sadly.  There was no point in telling them that would be impossible even if they could travel there.  As the bell rang to signal the start of the next round Beryl got to their feet to the cheers of everyone, even their enemies who were eagerly awaiting the funeral.  If there was one thing that Beryl knew for certain it was the funeral would be attended by many friends when it finally happened.  They wouldn’t have a body, but Dr. Maddox would see to a proper funeral anyways.  

    “When the cat dies I’m willing to pay 25 quatloo for each of their paws!”  Shouted one of the Doberman.

    “100 for their heart!”  Dr. Dinosaur echoed.  Beryl attacked the wolf with renewed vigor and settled on making a will when they woke back up.

  4. Beryl Strifeclaw Beryl Strifeclaw October 6, 2015

    Beryl had lost track of the last time they had woken up from the fighting ring.  There were times when it felt they were laying down in a bed, but the arena was always present and the fight was a constant brutal exercise in futility.  The wolf had grown since the first battles.  It was taller and thicker than Dr. Sonnerstein now.  It had also become much more aggressive than it had been at the start.  They were held together by stitches more than anything at this point.  These would be their final rounds if the doctors couldn’t figure something out.

     The doctors were promising that they could help, and even Mr. Wright had joined them saying he had something that could help, but as Beryl didn’t know how they would get to the end of this fight.  They could hear Mr. Wright humming behind them, a song that Beryl tried to focus on while they fought.

     Beryl went on the offensive, attacking , getting quick jabs in when they could, but the beast tore at Beryl’s back. The burning sensation was deep this time just missing the spine though it had been close.  Beryl focused on the song and let their world be the fight and the song.  They didn’t hear what Tepic shouted or what the crowd was doing.  

    The wolf suddenly turned towards someone in the crowd and let out a loud roar. Beryl took the momentary distraction to their advantage, took a deep stabilizing breath and attacked, going to their knees and then rising with an uppercut under the monster’s jaw.

    The monster fell back to the floor and vanished.  There was the sound of the bell and Beryl limped back to their seat, and a new wolf appears in the seat where the other wolf had vanished, this one even bigger than the last.

    Beryl fell back against their chair, while Tepic splashed them with cold water.   “Yer got this!  Only another round ter go!”

    “You said that last time,” Beryl said haggridly.  

    “Err…well yer didn’t kill it right this time I guess…”  Tepic admitted, then continued more expertly, “Remember, yer need silver ter kill it…or yer gotta face it head on and show it who’s boss.  Tell it bad dog and yer in charge.”

    “It’s wearing me down…Tepic..” Beryl said.  “I need a break…or help…something.”

    “Maybe if I steal the bell?”  Tepic looked at Bookworm guiltily,  “I mean, move it strata…smart like.”

    Bookworm shook her head at Tepic.  “That would be cheating.”

    “Wolves as gets up all the time is cheatin’…”  Tepic muttered bitterly, then patted Beryl’s shoulder that Kasa had been trying to stitch.  “Don’t worry…yer a hero.  Yer gonna get through this.”

    “Right…just keep…fighting.  Right?”

    “Or do somethin daft and heroic like!”  Tepic shouted encouragingly. 

    “Can’t I do something smart…and cowardly and…run out the door…and fight somewhere else?”

    “Errr….no.  Cause yer a hero and hero’s don’t run.”

    Beryl heard the bell and once again ignored the crowd as they got to their feet.  “Right.  Better make this…last round then,” Beryl said without confidence.

    As the wolf started to charge forward Beryl felt a searing pain.  Mr. Wright had just injected them with something.  They fell over as the wolf slowed down and started to stalk forward for its kill.  

    There were shouts and people grabbing Beryl from all sides, they were trying to throw them off not sure which one was the wolf if any.  Was the fight even still happening?  Beryl thought they saw Fargazer there for a moment with Book and the others telling them to fight back.  Beryl got back up, in the end and saw that the wolf was feral now and it was covered in snarling and angry mouths.  

    Beryl felt like their body was burning out, but their fists felt like they were on fire as the stadium around them crumbled…

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